Roseville's commercial focus lifts results

Roseville's commercial focus lifts results

Business Profiles
RAM LAMBS: Roseville Corriedale stud principal Tony Manchester in front of some young ram lambs on his Kingsvale, NSW, property.

RAM LAMBS: Roseville Corriedale stud principal Tony Manchester in front of some young ram lambs on his Kingsvale, NSW, property.

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A long history of recording data has paid off for Roseville Corriedale stud.

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BUSINESS PROFILE

Roseville Corriedales has been fleece weighing for over four decades, with a constant focus put on increasing wool production.

And all of these years later, they are reaping the rewards, according to Roseville stud principal, stud Tony Manchester from Kingsvale, NSW.

"When I first started fleece weighing, we were cutting 3.7 kilograms [a head], and we're now cutting 6.7kg," Mr Manchester said.

"There wouldn't be many people out there in Australia who've doubled their wool cut."

When asked how he managed to achieve this, he said it came down to performance recording, careful selection and "50 years of breeding".

"It's all about wool production per hectare or meat production per hectare," Mr Manchester said.

"If you're running a sheep that takes the same amount of feed but is only cutting 4kg wool, then who's in front?"

Reassurance that he was on the right track came a few years ago when Mr Manchester was able to speak directly to the buyer of his wool.

"I went to the woolstores [to watch my wool sell] and the [buyers] went mad on my wool," he said.

"So I asked my broker to introduce me to the buyer - from The Schneider Group - and I asked him why everyone was chasing my wool.

"He said it was because of the type of wool and that you didn't see that very often."

Mr Manchester asked the buyer where he thought the industry would be in 25 years' time.

"He predicted there'd be an oversupply of 22 micron and finer wool and oversupply of 28 micron and stronger wool and said to me 'you've got one of the greatest blending wools, don't change'."

Today, his Corriedale wool tests at an average of 25 micron, 16 co-efficient of variation and 4 standard deviation.

"Micron's still important but our wool has got to be very soft handling for water and dust resistance, and fly resistant," he said.

Roseville is currently joining 1800 ewes, a number Mr Manchester is hoping to increase.

"The last 2.5 years have been very dry, but we've just had perhaps one of the best autumn breaks we've ever had," he said.

"We destocked and fed during the drought but now I want to slowly build that up again to about 2000-2500."

He said the farm used to be 60 per cent cropping, 40pc livestock, and while now it was the other way around, he wanted to increase to 70pc livestock.

"I've got to wait until the season's settled down a bit and become more reliable first," he said.

Mr Manchester said he left school at an early age to pursue sheep and as his father had bred Corriedales, it was a natural fit.

He described them as the "original and the best dual purpose sheep".

"I don't know many other breeds out there where you can sell their wool at $60-$70 a head, get twin lambs, and good quality meat at the same time," he said.

In addition to the Corriedale stud, Mr Manchester also runs a Poll Dorset stud - Kingsvale Supremes - currently joining about 150 ewes.

This journey started in the 1990s when he couldn't find the perfect future sire for the lamb industry, so he decided to breed his own.

"I put some semen into some Corriedale ewes, and mucked around a bit in the early '90s, and since 1997, have been using pure Poll Dorsets," he said.

Coming from a background of feedlotting cattle, he said he understood the importance of carcase type to have lambs all the same on the rail at abattoirs.

He's slowly built up the ram selling business, now selling about 60-80 rams a year.

But he said the main focus of his entire business has always been on ensuring his animals are commercially relevant.

"And I'll never stop asking questions," he said.

In the last couple of years, the stud's Poll Dorsets in the sale have averaged EBVs for birth of .23, in the top 20pc for growth, 76 in the top 5pc for muscle and fat, 97pc in the highest for maternal weaning weight and 50pc in the highest for number of lambs weaned.

"We have just scanned our ewes, and they scanned 187pc in lamb," he said.

"These are great EBVs for the future of the lamb industry."

The stud will be conducting a ram sale on September 25.

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